Quebec drummer revels within the highlight of TikTok stardom – Montreal

While 2020 was a challenging year for all of us, it was especially difficult for musicians. With live performances being suspended indefinitely, many have turned to social media to keep in touch with their existing fans and attract new ones.

Few others in Canada have been as successful at the latter as Domino Santantonio.

The resident of Piedmont, Que., About an hour’s drive north of Montreal, comes from a family of musicians and has been a professional drummer for over a decade.

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When the COVID-19 pandemic forced concert halls to close and music festivals around the world to stop in March, she was encouraged to try TikTok by a friend and fellow artist, Roxane Bruneau.

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“I said, ‘Well, I only use TikTok for cat and dog videos,” she told Global News from her music studio. “But one night here I thought,’ Maybe I could try. ‘”

This first attempt – drum accompaniment to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” – generated millions of views in just a few hours and catapulted them into celebrity on social media. To date, nearly 14 million people have seen it.

“It’s a bit overwhelming,” she admitted. “A lot has happened to me in the last few months, so it’s been a crazy journey, but a very exciting journey.”

She had to pinch herself when part of that journey included being included in an ad campaign TikTok launched in the fall.

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It is one of only a handful of Canadian TikTokers selected to participate in the “It starts with TikTok” campaign. She is also the only one from Quebec.

“When they approached me, I said, ‘Is this real? Is it a scam “

Turned out it wasn’t a scam, and now her face is plastered on all French language television across Canada. While she has previously performed on the small screen as part of a house band, being in front and in the middle was a surreal experience.

“So I was used to appearing on television, but when my name wasn’t behind the drums behind the artist like I was before, I was shocked,” she said. “I thought ‘seriously !? There is my name I only play the drums, you know! ‘”

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In a statement, TikTok described Santantonio as “a great representation” of what makes the website and its Canadian content creators so unique.

While nothing can replace the rush to perform live with other musicians, according to Santantonio, finding an audience on TikTok made all the difference this year.

“By having the space to create and the crowd responding when I post a video, having a lot of positive feedback, all the love … it’s really the best that could have happened to me,” she said with a smile .

Santantonio says when the pandemic is over she can’t wait to show her new followers – all 589,500 and counted – what she likes to do on a stage, live.

But she adds that even if we all got vaccinated and filled concert halls again, she won’t be going anywhere on TikTok.

“I want to film myself on live shows and show this other side of my career that I haven’t been able to show the crowd since last year.”

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